Neon Sign VS. LED Light – What's The Difference?

by Vlen Feng
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Neon Sign VS. LED Light – What's The Difference?

Here is a comparison of these two eye catching sign lighting choices - Neon Sign VS. LED Sign. Based on six different categories. The categories are purchase price, power usage, maintenance, safety, brightness, and accessibility. 


What is Neon Light? 

The most obvious differences between LED and neon lighting is that neon lighting comes in a hand crafted glass tube. The light is created from reactions with an inert gas that emit a fluorescent colour due to the release of energy. Neon tubes are beautifully crafted but they are very fragile and there is a risk of damage to the tube if handled incorrectly. If the tube does become damaged, then the sign should have open circuit protection, meaning that if the tubes are damaged then the current will automatically stop flowing to prevent any unwanted accidents. 


neon sign light

What is LED Light? 

LED lights and signs are created using light emitting diodes (LEDs) which are strung closely together so that the light they emit overlaps and creates a steady source of light. LED signs are usually lighter and more protected than neon lights as LEDs are often wrapped in their own polymer jacket to protect each diode from external damage. However, they can be incredibly fiddly and difficult to fix if broken as each LED needs to be manually fixed to the base, where only the glass tube needs replacing on neon signs. Another potential drawback is that LEDs can only really be fixed in certain positions and, so the lettering can often look clunky and unappealing. Not only that, but the colours emitted are solid, rather than being varied as is often seen in a neon sign’s glow. 




Neon Sign VS. LED Light – What's The Difference?


1. Neon Vs LED Signs - Price 

Neon sign lights costs more to make, buy, install & repair than LED lights. 

2. Neon Vs LED Signs - Power Usage 

If you are looking for the most energy efficient lighting or signage option then LED does use less secondary power than a neon light.Neon displays usually uses 3000-8000 volts to run while LEDs need just 5-24

3. Neon Vs LED Signs - Maintenance 

LED signs are almost maintenance free and have dramatically lower running costs. Neon signs require a trained professional to attend to maintenance issues, which can incur further costs.

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4. Neon Vs LED Signs - Safety

Neon signs use high voltage and use real glass tubing so there is always the potential for breakage and will require special treatment for disposal. LED’s are shock proof and have very little heat emitted, which makes them absolutely safe to use. LED signs also do not contain detrimental materials like mercury or phosphor. 

5. Neon Vs LED Signs - Brightness

LED: 24-26Lm/ft (80-85Lm/m), very birght, dimmable. 

Neon: 60Lm/ft (197Lm/m), warm light, can not be made brighter.  

6. Neon Vs LED Signs - Possible shapes

LED is thin flexible tube,makes tight bends and intricate shapes possible. While,Neon sign is the glass tubes cannot be bent as tightly.



by Vlen Feng


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